At a training seminar that I once attended, a portion of the afternoon was devoted to a discussion of bad words. In one of the hottest days on record, a dozen of us gathered in a cramped five foot tall training room, sat around an overhead projector and a laptop whose audio output was speculative at best, and then, via the medium of Powerpoint, ran through a list of words that were unacceptable to use in our workplace. None of which was patronising in any way. Of course, the reason for such a discussion was because of the line of work in question. We were attending said seminar as a mandatory part of our training to become support workers for the learning disabled. Inevitably, in that line of work, training for sensitivity towards the learning disabled is essential. We had to go. (You know, just so that we knew not to call them names. Just in case one of us was going to take the hitherto untested insult-comic approach to the job. Seemingly, companies must plan for that ridiculous eventuality.) It doesn’t take much guesswork to know that on that day, we learnt – or rather, were reminded – that use of the word “retarded” was not permitted. It wasn’t just not permitted in its more popular, irrelevant use as a generic word for “dumb” – it was also not permitted as a means to term, address or endear those that we would encounter in our work who were actually mentally retarded. The same was true of “demented,” which was not to be used to describe those with dementia, despite its obvious origins from doing so. Even when done with the best of intentions, these words was not to be used under any circumstances. And the reasons they were not […]
In the recent Creative Financing In The NBA post, I wrote at great length about the Xavier Henry situation. In the span of about 27,000 words, I tried to explain all the nuances of this largely unprecedented and highly unattractive situation, using as many real-life examples and corollaries as I could find. After that time, far more significant media personalities ran with the story. Starting with NBA.com’s David Aldridge – who ran a very similar piece that even used the same Glenn Robinson-based introduction, but who had the ability to get the quotes that a 20-something English student doesn’t have – and culminating in an explosive interview with Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley on the Chris Vernon Show, the story became one of the most protracted subplots of the offseason, its explosive crescendo at the Vernon interview making for late-summer viewing joy. In between those bookends came this piece from the Commercial Appeal’s Ron Tillery, that details the required incentives in ways we previously could only guess at. The Griz have offered Henry 100 percent of that salary with the extra 20 percent tied to performance-based bonuses. The Grizzlies’ proposed incentive package includes: Participation in summer league. A two-week workout program with the team’s training staff. Satisfying one of the following: play in NBA rookie/sophomore game during All-Star weekend, or earn an all-rookie selection, or average 15 minutes in at least 70 games. Perhaps more pertinent still are these quotes from Henry’s agent, Arn Tellem, in which he describes the move from his point of view. The agent, Arn Tellem, says the Grizzlies are trying to make Henry meet performance bonuses, such as making the rookie challenge at All-Star weekend or being named to one of the all-rookie teams. He says only one player out of more than 450 since the […]
Per a million places, but arbitrarily taken from ENCToday.com, former NBA big man Charles Shackleford has been arrested in an undercover drug operation that saw him trying to sell 150 pills to the rozzers. Charles Shackleford is in trouble with the law for the second time in six months. Shackleford, a former Kinston High School, NCSU and NBA basketball player, was arrested by the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday after he allegedly sold 150 prescription pills to an undercover officer. The incident took place in the vicinity of Fairgrounds Road and N.C. 11/55 in Kinston. The 6-foot, 11-inch Shackleford was transported, processed and taken before a Lenoir County magistrate, who ordered the 44-year-old to be held in the Lenoir County Jail under a $30,000 secured bond. Shackleford’s first court appearance is scheduled for Monday morning. The article goes on to describe an arrest of Shackleford’s from earlier thus year, in a bizarre care involving identity theft and ex-NBA player Jayson Williams. Before that, Shackle was arrested in 2006 for drug and weapon possession, pleading guilty to the weapons charge in exchange for the drugs charges being dropped. His retirement from basketball has not gone well. Nonetheless, Shackleford is perhaps most known for a quote that is a mainstay in the ShamSports.com quote archive: “Left hand, right hand, it doesn’t matter. I’m amphibious.”
Per this story from George Brown of WREG.com, former NBA big man Lorenzen Wright has gone missing. The family of Lorenzen Wright says he’s been missing since Sunday. Wright’s sister, Savia Archie, says her family is very concerned. Archie said, Wright was last seen on sunday when he was expected to fly out of Memphis, but no one has heard from him since. The family has filed a missing persons with the Collierville police department.
The Kirk Snyder saga has been covered at length on this website, including only recently in the Where Are They Now series. In that post, I wrote this: On March 30th last year, Snyder was arrested and charged with aggravated burglary and felonious assault. Snyder reportedly broke into a house on the same street as his, and beat up the male occupant as he slept, in front of his wife. And then he went back to his house as if nothing had happened. The wife who witnessed the beating called the police, who brought a canine unit along and tracked a scent back to Snyder’s house. Snyder was arrested, charged, and taken to jail, where he promptly got into a fight with another inmate. Due to the savage and seemingly unprovoked nature of the initial beating, Snyder was sent for psychiatric evaluation, and later placed on suicide watch.While in the psychiatric hospital, Snyder refused all medication and all food. A court order came down allowing him to be force-fed, and several months later, Snyder was found competent to stand trial (being diagnosed with bipolar disorder). Snyder was released under the proviso that he wore an electronic ankle bracelet, and even tried to play basketball again in China. But the CBA vetoed any move, and Snyder was later re-arrested and returned to jail after he cut off the ankle bracelet. Last month, the case finally went to trial, with Snyder found mentally competent. His defence of temporary insanity did not work, and it didn’t take long before he was found guilty on all charges. Snyder currently awaits his sentencing hearing which takes place next month, and his charges include a felony count that carries a mandatory prison sentence, with a maximum term of 18 years. That sentence has now been passed, […]
Former Bull Jay Williams plays again, for the first time in two and a half years. Former NBA point guard Jay Williams is aiming to relaunch his career through the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). Williams, the second overall pick by the Chicago Bulls in the 2002 NBA draft – behind Yao Ming, almost lost his life in a motorcycle accident a year later and his promising career appeared to be over. (more at the link) Since his accident in June 2003, Jay’s basketball journey has taken many forms. Williams spent three and a half months in hospital, recovering from the multiple torn ligaments, broken pelvis and nerve damage that almost saw him lose his leg (but not his life, contrary to the article’s verbiage). His rehab had only begun in earnest; it would be three more years before he returned to the court. During the early stages of his rehab, Williams kept a blog on NBA.com, which still survives to this day (as long as you can tolerate five and a half years of dust). The optimistic tone of the blog made it sound like a comeback would be possible, if a long way off. And this proved to be kind of true, as Williams did eventually sign another NBA contract. But he never played another regular season NBA game. In October 2006, more than three years after the accident, Williams signed a training camp contract with the New Jersey Nets. The contract was not guaranteed, and both Williams and the Nets signed it knowing that his chances of making the team were about as small as a tadpole’s corset. Nevertheless, however unlikely of a gesture it may have been, the signing was symbolic; Jay had made it back from the brink. Unfortunately, he struggled mightily. And that ruined the […]
Former Kansas star and Miami Heat first-round draft pick Wayne Simien retires from professional basketball, as explained in this email (courtesy of Eurobasket): ‘The family and I are un-jet-lagged, unpacked and officially settled. It is great being back’, said Simien, who lives with his wife and two children in Lawrence. ‘We had a fabulous time in Spain and it was a great cultural experience. I had a good season on the court and we made some really great friends.’ ‘As far as my basketball future is concerned, I am officially retiring from playing professionally. I still love the game of basketball, can play at a high level and make a great living, however I have more of a passion to pursue other things. That passion being for Christian ministry and youth athletics. “I will be ministering through the ‘Called To Greatness’ organization (iamctg.org) that I started last year, as well as working with Morningstar Church ministering to the youth and college students.” Simien had been playing in Spain this past season, for a team called Caceres in the LEB Gold (second division). It wasn’t the greatest standard of basketball in the world, and Caceres only finished 11th with a 15-19 record, but Simien produced, averaging 16.8 points and 8.2 rebounds on 62% shooting in the 15 games that he played. More importantly, the stay in Spain represented a return to basketball and to full health for Simien, who hadn’t played the previous season, and who only played eight games in 2006-07 due to contracting salmonella. This, sadly, is what many people will mainly remember him for. God knows how you catch it twice, but Simien did, and it’s a legacy he probably doesn’t want. Simien’s college career was brilliant, but his NBA career was less so. Drafted by the Heat […]
I love to read when I’m on the toilet. Love it. Can barely go without it, in fact. Unfortunately, I don’t own many books. So I tend to read the same ones over and over again. True to form, I am currently mid-way through a repeat reading of “When Nothing Else Matters” by Michael Leahy, a exposé-type book about Michael Jordan’s comeback with the Wizards. It’s quite good fun, particularly if the Wizards-era Jordan was the only Jordan era that you were around to see, as was the case for me. I’m particularly enjoying reading about all the other characters in the story, like Doug Collins, Tim Grover, Jerry Stackhouse, Rip Hamilton, Tyronn Lue, Chris Whitney, Kwame Brown (who, it’s fair to say, struggles for good news throughout), Juan Dixon, Bobby Simmons, Courtney Alexander and others. But I am especially mindful of one name that I’d forgotten about, that of Tyrone Nesby, the former defensive specialist and hater of passing that had a few years of coming off NBA benches after picking up a surprisingly generous contract from the Clippers of all teams. Because of this, I decided to look up what T-Nes was doing these days. The last I had heard, he’d become a rapper, but that was about two years ago, now, so I looked again. After the Wizards’ 2001/02 season, Nesby’s $9 million contract had run out, and the Wizards looked elsewhere. No other NBA team seemed to want him, and Nesby hit the European trail, signing with Larisa in Greece and averaging 17.8 points per game. He then went to 2003 summer league with the New York Knicks, but didn’t get a full contract, and went back to Europe the following year visiting both Italy (13.4 ppg for Varese) and Serbia (21.1 ppg for Relfex Beograd). […]
Sports Illustrated: Blazers threaten to sue anyone who signs Darius Miles. “Team Presidents and General Managers, “The Portland Trail Blazers are aware that certain teams may be contemplating signing Darius Miles to a contract for the purpose of adversely impacting the Portland Trail Blazers Salary Cap and tax positions. Such conduct from a team would violate its fiduciary duty as an NBA joint venturer. In addition, persons or entities involved in such conduct may be individually liable to the Portland Trail Blazers for tortuously interfering with the Portland Trail Blazers’ contract rights and perspective economic opportunities. “Please be aware that if a team engages in such conduct, the Portland Trail Blazers will take all necessary steps to safeguard its rights, including, without limitation, litigation.” Now, I’m no lawyer, nor even a taxpaying member of the state. But if I understand anything, I understand this: The whole concept of doctors declaring when a player’s career is over due to injury is entirely speculative. It has to be, unless Nostradamus knows how to use a stethoscope. The doctors predicted Darius’s career would be over, but it wasn’t, and you can see that it wasn’t by the fact that he’s STILL PLAYING. Therefore, Portland’s whole claim of “his career is over, can we have our money back please?” is somewhat invalidated. And all this silly posturing helps nobody. As far I can tell, Portland has little, if any, legal footing. If Darius was out there in a wheelchair, or as a quadriplegic with a terminal case of lumbago, then they’d have a point. But he’s not. Darius is not the player that he once was, but he can take an NBA court on merit. Caught up in all this, though, is the most important point. Darius Miles never got much of a fair […]
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3744237 Former NBA and college basketball star Rodney Rogers is paralyzed as the result of an all-terrain vehicle accident, his college coach told the News & Observer of Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Dave Odom, who coached Rogers when he earned All-America honors at Wake Forest and was the 1993 ACC Player of the Year, said Wednesday that his former star is paralyzed from the shoulders down, according to the report. Those of us that used to play the Rodney Rogers game – the precursor to the Fred Tedeschi game – feel particularly bad about this terrible news. It wasn’t all that long ago that I was wondering what happened to Rodney Rogers. Now, I wish I didn’t know.